New Mix: Shakey Graves, The War On Drugs, The Mountain Goats, More : All Songs ConsideredSpecial guests from the NPR Music team join All Songs Considered this week to share some of their favorite releases from April.
Clockwise from upper left: Shakey Graves, Trio Mediaeval, The Mountain Goats, Mr. Mitch, The War On Drugs, Elliot Moss, GAS
Courtesy of the artists
Courtesy of the artists
For this week's show, Bob Boilen and I throw open the studio door to welcome a parade of guests from the NPR Music team, each sharing their favorite April releases. This includes Jake Witz, one of our fabulous Spring interns, who has some relatively restrained music from U.K. grime artist Mr. Mitch. We're also joined by Rachel Horn, who brought us some funktacular beats from Orgone; Viking's Choice curator Lars Gotrich has surprising new cuts from The Mountain Goats and ambient artist GAS; and NPR classical guru Tom Huizenga of Deceptive Cadence shares a gorgeous Icelandic hymn from Trio Mediaeval.
Oh, Bob and I have our own picks, too — his a spare and woozy acoustic cut from Shakey Graves; mine some electronic soul from Elliot Moss (think James Blake). Once Bob's out of the studio I've also got a bonus cut from The War On Drugs — an epic, mood-shifting guitar jam. -- Robin Hilton
Songs Featured On This Episode
Song: Nobody's Fool
from Nobody's Fool EP
Shakey Graves is otherwise known as Alejandro Rose-Garcia, a singer and guitarist originally from Austin, Texas who makes foot-stomping, bluesy folk music, though "Nobody's Fool" is a quieter, more introspective cut. He says the song is, in part, about the pitfalls and pedestals of life. "I have no standard religion or any reason to be particularly assured of anything in life. So when I say, 'Whether you like it or not you've been chosen by God,' I quickly follow it with, 'But you're nobody's fool,' because if there is anything constant in my heart and mind it's the duality of blind faith in a greater purpose, and the just-as-likely truth that our existence boils down to a fantastic biological drama."
Orgone is a retro-funk group from Los Angeles. The band's latest cut, "I Sold My Heart To the Junkman," released as a 7" single, is a cover of a 1940s big-band jazz hit from Etta Jones. In Orgone's hands, however, it becomes an old-school funk number.
Trio Mediaeval is a vocal group from Norway known for singing both ancient and contemporary music. Here, the group offers a new interpretation, complete with a trumpet part, of a 17th-century Icelandic hymn.